With Knockout Victory and Finishing Mentality, Dong Hyun Kim Poised for UFC Title Shot

March 1, 2014
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Dong Hyun KimFollowing an impressive spinning elbow knockout of John Hathaway in Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter China Finale main event, Korean fighter Dong Hyun Kim has placed himself near the top of the UFC’s list of welterweight title contenders.

It’s a position he’s been in before, but was unable to capitalize on.

With the victory over Hathaway, Kim has now won four consecutive bouts, adding to wins over Erick Silva, Siyar Bahadurzada, and Paulo Thiago.

He’s now ready for whatever challenge the UFC sets before him, but also believes that he has better prepared himself for a title shot.

“I’ve continued to stack up the wins, but yet I wasn’t given the title shot [in the past],” said Kim. “I decided for me to get a title shot, I was gonna have to change the way that I fight. So I decided to get more aggressive and hopefully I’ll get noticed and we’ll get a shot at the title.”

Throwing caution to the wind, Kim said he doesn’t really worry much about losses anymore, but puts everything on the line to win and try to finish the fight.

He also believes that he is positioned to do that because he has developed his game to the point where he can match skills with anyone in the division.

Former champion Georges St-Pierre recently relinquished his belt to take a break from fighting. The UFC matched Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler to fight for the vacated title, and Kim believes the changes that he’s made to his game make him a candidate to fight the winner of that fight or any other challenger the UFC sets before him.

“I don’t really care who the opponent is going to be,” said Kim. “When it comes to grappling or wrestling, I think I am one of the best. I have no problem going up against Johny Hendricks when it comes to grappling or wrestling. I don’t think anyone can take me down.

“When it comes to striking, whoever gets knocked out will get knocked out. When I hit somebody, I will be sure that I knock them out.”

The UFC has yet to say who will get the first crack at the winner of Hendricks vs. Lawler, but with his knockout finish on Saturday, Kim certainly put his name in the running.

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  • Great job by Kim. I would like to see him fight the likes of Matt Brown, Thiago Alves or Jake Shields. I used to like Dong Hyun but now he’s doing to much talking and is getting caught up in his own hype. He would get eaten by guys like Robbie Lawler or Josh Koscheck. Anyone interested in Kim vs Rory McDonald?

    • WW

      Kim vs Rory would be great matchup for sure. Kim doesnt just grapple. He became very aggressive since the Erick Silva fight.

      • Kim was to aggressive in the Hathaway fight. An older more experienced striker like Martin Kampmann would have caught him. Like I said, I was a fan of his but now he is was to focused on getting the K,O.

        • Honest Abrhamhock

          Now people other than you, me and a handful of others want to see him fight. This means money, and to an entertainment organization that is a good thing. Kim is a product of his environment. GSP got TKO’d and began to change from a striking fighter to a more tactical grappler. Kim has done the opposite. He was a powerhouse pre-UFC, but became more tactical grappler until his loss to Condit which really seemed to get under his skin. He is now far more aggressive, but if he can find a balance he will be terrifying.

          • A guy like Jake Ellenberger would be a great fight where he would have to find that balance. Or even Hector Lombard if he beats Shields. But your right he put on a great fight for the fans.

  • dong lost ur mind

    no way this might put him in the lower half of top ten but he needs to ko someone in the top ten 1st.hathaway not a bum by any means but not top ten guy.he does have every thing it takes to contend for the tittle just not off this win

    • Llep

      Now he will get a chance to face top ten guys. So we will see. im excited cuz his style has changed a lot. Strong wrestling base with the aggressive striking

  • Jon Doe

    To be fair, he won the Karo fight, the Maia fight was a freak injury and by all indication of his performances against Rory and Jake, Big Dong would of handled Maia rather easily and Condit caught him with a flying knee 1 minute and some change in the fight. Big Dong needs to erase the Condit fight and call for a rematch. If he wins that he would leave no doubt he is Championship fight worthy.